WASHINGTON — A bill by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to essentially reverse the Supreme Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby decision stating that businesses do not have to provide health care coverage for employees’ birth control if it is against the employer’s religious beliefs failed to advance in the Senate Wednesday.
Democrats were unable to get enough Republicans to support it to get 60 votes to advance the bill.
Democrats had argued the ruling last month was deeply unfair to women and blasted Republicans for blocking the bill. Republicans defended the religious rights of private companies affected by the decision.
The issue has strong implications for the 2014 midterm elections as each party tries to attract more women voters.
Murray filed the last bill Thursday. It would have required businesses to provide health care coverage that includes contraceptives.
It was aimed at getting around a recent Supreme Court decision. In a 5-4 ruling last month, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations do not have to provide contraceptive coverage under Obamacare because it violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Murray’s bill would end that religious exemption.
“Women across the country are outraged,” Murray said at a news conference. “They are demanding a change, and today, by introducing this new legislation, with a strong coalition behind us, we are here to be their voice.”
Murray argued that company chief executive officers shouldn’t be the ones making decisions about what to cover and what not to cover when it comes to employees’ health care.
“And it’s not just women who want Congress to act,” Murray said. “People across the country understand that if bosses can deny birth control, they can deny vaccines, HIV treatment, or other basic health services for employees or their dependents.”
Most Republicans praised the Supreme Court ruling when it came down. They argue it’s important to allow private companies to follow their religious beliefs.
Q13 FOX News political analyst C.R. Douglas looked at the issue in this video report.